Biblical Readings for each day's Mass,
(as listed in the Liturgical Calendar for Ireland, 2017)

19 July. Wed. of Week 15

1st Reading: Exodus 3:1-6, 9-12

Revelation to Moses at the burning bush, at Mount Horeb/Sinai

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, "I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up." When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." Then he said, "Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." He said further, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt." But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" He said, "I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain."

Gospel: Matthew 11:25-27

God reveals the mystery of salvation to those who become as simple as children

Jesus exclaimed, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.

All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."

BIBLE

Who can be God's Instruments?

Today Jesus lets us eavesdrop on a secret moment of revelation, for we are not simply told that he stole away to spend time in prayer; we are given the actual words of his prayer. Exodus tells of Moses in reverential awe as he approaches the burning bush, and he hears the revelation that God would liberate a new people, for the world's salvation. In Matthew, Jesus prays: "Father, Lord of heaven and earth, to you I offer praise; for what you have hidden from the learned and the clever you have revealed to the merest children."

A clear and simple knowledge of God is given to children and is learned from one who is the ultimate Son of God. As the Son and Messenger, Jesus knows only what his Father reveals within him; and he is commissioned to share this great revelation with other children of God, who are continuously begotten by the Father, through faith. What is the mystery known above all to children? To know oneself as child is to realize our total dependence, our state of being begotten and receptive of life. At the deepest source of our life, God our Father dwells within us; here we are in touch with our most profound self, our secret mission, our heavenly name, written in the book of life (Luke 10:20).

Such a mission came to Moses from the burning bush. As this call reached into his deepest self he simply responds, "Here I am." With absolute obedience and total spontaneity, he seeks to know the name and nature of God, and his request is answered, "I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob." Later in the same chapter God reveals his most sacred name of Yahweh, the One who is always there with you.


Relationships we treasure

If we were to list the things of value in our lives, we would find that relationships would come towards the top of our list. We value relationships, friendships. We could not get through life without the people who are important to us. In today's gospel, Jesus speaks about the relationship which is most important to him, his relationship with his heavenly Father. He speaks of this relationship in terms of a mutual knowing, "no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son." There is a very profound and unique intimacy to this. Yet, there is nothing closed about this special relationship; it is open to others.

Jesus speaks of himself as choosing to reveal the Father to others and he speaks of the Father as revealing these things to children. Jesus reveals the Father to us and the Father reveals his Son to us; to that extent they seek to draw us all into their mutual relationship. As God drew Moses to himself through the burning bush, the Father and the Son seek to draw us into their mutual love, so that we can reflect that love to others. For this to happen, the gospel suggests that we need the openness and receptivity of the child, rather than the self-assurance of the learned. {MH}


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